Unfortunately, paper pushing and working around endless policies and meetings are just more problems driving teachers out of the profession. Rather than giving teachers as much contract time as possible to prepare their lessons and materials, hours upon hours are wasted sitting through endless meetings with material that could be covered in one well-written email. Any open time is seized as an opportunity for professional development, and school districts spend tens of thousands of dollars bringing in the latest and greatest presenters of educational trends that will be quickly dispensed with as soon as the next fad emerges. The sheer amount of paperwork, especially for special education teachers, is truly mind-boggling, and is almost entirely collected in an effort to prevent parents from suing the school. During my time teaching, I had to pass out anonymous quizzes gauging student interest in sports because our district was getting sued for not funding a girls’ tackle football team.
This is something I've thought for a long time: the problem with K-12 teaching is not primarily one of low pay. Consider this: